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Three home affairs officials arrested for ‘soliciting money from shop owners’

Three home affairs officials arrested for ‘soliciting money from shop owners’

Times live 1 December 2021

Court

 

The three suspects will face charges of corruption in the Ermelo magistrate’s court.

Two immigration officers and an assistant director from the department of home affairs in Ermelo were arrested for alleged corruption on Tuesday.

The three suspects are expected to appear before the magistrate’s court in Ermelo on Wednesday on charges of corruption.

The suspects allegedly demanded money from foreign nationals who own shops in Ermelo. .

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala said a complainant reported the matter to the local police station and an investigation was launched by the Anti-Corruption Unit.

“An operation was conducted and the three suspects were arrested today after receiving trap money,” said Mohlala.

Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Semakaleng Daphney Manamela said police would do everything in their power to root out corruption in the province.

“No-one is above the law. Anyone found to be in breach of the law will be arrested, irrespective of the position he or she holds. Mpumalanga must be a crime-free province”

www.samigration.com

 

 

Finally! Home Affairs gearing up for in-house online booking system

SA mgratuonme Affairs gearing up for in-house online booking system
New24 – 30 November 2021
• The Department of Home Affairs is gearing up for the test phase of an online appointment booking system.
• It already has an online system which allows uploading of documents and filling in of applications, and an online full service partnership with banks.
• It is doing this amid post freezes due to Treasury cuts, and the growing queues for service outside its offices.
The Department of Home Affairs is gearing up to test an in-house online appointment booking system.
It was doing this amid the growing queues for vital identity documents the department issued.
“We are moving fast,” said Thulani Mavuso, the department’s Deputy Director-General for Institutional Planning.
The online booking system would be tested at certain offices and would be formally announced when it’s ready for roll out. “But the system is complete,” said Mavuso.
He was part of a team briefing the Western Cape legislature’s Standing Committee on the Premier and Constitutional Matters.
An online booking system was already available at some Nedbank, Standard Bank, FNB and Absa banks around the country.
At these outlets, applicants had their fingerprints and photos taken. An account with the institution was required.
The department already had its own partial online application system, with applicants uploading documents, then going to the department to provide the fingerprints and to take a picture.
Designed
The committee heard that queues outside Home Affairs’ offices were a problem, with the buildings not designed for people waiting outside.
Homeless people had also carved out a niche market which involved sleeping in queues for a fee, but the department was trying to stamp this out by keeping a list of names from early in the day and only letting those with business in the building through the door.
The department said that one of its problems was not being able to replace staff who left after Treasury budget cuts.
Yusuf Simons, the department’s provincial manager for the Western Cape, said only priority posts could be filled.
In the meantime, the green ID book was still being issued in some areas where systems were not linked to the live Home Affairs systems.
Committee chair Regan Allen, in his capacity as DA Western Cape acting spokesperson on Premier and Constitutional Affairs, said that an online booking system will not work with its current reputation for being offline.
He added that 500 staff members are not enough to meet the demands of the seven million residents of the Western Cape.
“Unless systemic deficiencies in the IT service is addressed and the infrastructure is updated and protected, automating services will not address the growing demand,” said Allen.
“The root of the problem and the solution remains the IT system, and this must remain the top priority of Minister Motsoaledi.”
www.samigration.com

SA’s Border Management Authority needs R3bn to pay salaries

 

 

SA’s Border Management Authority needs R3bn to pay salaries

News 24 – 30 November 2021

 

oneflagmigration

  • The Border Management Authority needs close to R3 billion to pay staff salaries for a fully operational service.
  • Another R5.2 billion is needed for goods and services, which does not include future technology requirements.
  • On Tuesday, BMA commissioner Nakampe Masiapato briefed Parliament on the authority’s rollout and funding.

South Africa’s Border Management Authority (BMA) needs close to R3 billion to pay staff, while another estimated R5.2 billion would be needed for goods and services.

According to BMA commissioner Nakampe Masiapato, the estimated expenditure on the compensation of employees and goods and services was to establish a fully operational BMA.

On Tuesday, Masiapato and several Home Affairs officials briefed Parliament’s home affairs committee on the BMA rollout plan and funding.

“It should be noted that the above costing is indicative of an estimated cost of the BMA. However, this cost does not include the cost of the future ICT requirements,” Masiapato said.

Following discussions between the BMA leadership, National Treasury and Department of Public Service and Administration, it was agreed that until March 2023, the BMA would remain “incubated” within the Department of Home Affairs.

“Between 1 January 2022 to May 2022, all key positions filled and the oversight committees constituted. In June 2022, BMA will make budget submissions to National Treasury inclusive of transferred budgets from proclaimed departments as discussed. In July 2022, the Department of Public Service and Administration is to announce the listing of BMA as a Schedule 3A Public Entity,” Masiapato said in his presentation.

After budgetary processes in October 2022, and February 2023, the BMA would exit the department to operate as a public entity from 1 April 2023.

It would report to the Minister of Home Affairs.

The BMA would be responsible for:

  • Facilitating and managing the legitimate movement of persons and goods within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry;
  • Dealing with all kinds of inter-jurisdictional crimes, such as human and wildlife trafficking, movement of counterfeit goods, and the illegal border crossings; and
  • Co-operate and co-ordinate its border law enforcement functions with other agencies like police, the SA National Defence Force and the SA Revenue Service.

“Considering this mandate, juxtaposed against the long-standing national problem of ‘porous borders’,  it is therefore critical to fast track the operationalisation of this BMA, of which this presentation seeks to provide an update to that effect,” Masiapato said.

The BMA logo was developed with the support of the Government Communications Information System (GCIS) and approved in October. Uniform specifications for the BMA were finalised in June 2021, and so far, 15 Toyota Land Cruisers had been bought.

Masiapato said that members of the Immigration Inspectorate would be deployed along with soldiers to conduct joint operations this festive season.

“In addition, plans are at advance stages for the deployment of additional capacity of the SANDF reserves at the borderline. BMA leadership is finalising discussions with the SANDF Command Council for the secondment of the reserve force of the SANDF. This will serve as the preparations towards the introduction of the BMA Border Guards along the borderline,” he said.

Masiapato said they were aiming to sign a memorandum of agreement with the SANDF by no later than November.

“Given the current discussions, we envisaged to launch the BMA Border Guards sometime early next year (2022),” he said

www.samigration.com.

 

 

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Pandemic to cost global tourism R32 trillion in 2021: UN

Fin24 – 30 November 2021

 

While international tourism has taken a hit from the outbreak of disease in the past, the coronavirus is unprecedented in its geographical spread.

Getty Images

  • The coronavirus pandemic will cost the global tourism sector R32.3 trillion in lost revenue in 2021.
  • International tourist arrivals will this year remain 70-75% below the 1.5 billion arrivals recorded in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
  • A total of 46 destinations – 21 percent of all destinations worldwide – currently have their borders completely closed to tourists.

The coronavirus pandemic will cost the global tourism sector $2.0 trillion (~R32.3 trillion) in lost revenue in 2021, the UN’s tourism body said Monday, calling the sector’s recovery “fragile” and “slow”.

The forecast from the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization comes as Europe is grappling with a surge in infections and as a new heavily mutated Covid-19 variant, dubbed Omicron, spreads across the globe.

International tourist arrivals will this year remain 70-75 percent below the 1.5 billion arrivals recorded in 2019 before the pandemic hit, a similar decline as in 2020, according to the body.

The global tourism sector already lost $2.0 trillion in revenues last year due to the pandemic, according to the UNWTO, making it one of sectors hit hardest by the health crisis.

While t he UN body charged with promoting tourism does not have an estimate for how the sector w ill perform next year, its medium-term outlook is not encouraging.

“Despite the recent improvements, uneven vaccination rates around the world and new Covid-19 strains” such as the Delta variant and Omicron “could impact the already slow and fragile recovery,” it said in a statement.

The introduction of fresh virus restrictions and lockdowns in several nations in recent weeks shows how “it’s a very unpredictable situation,” UNWTO head Zurab Pololikashvili told AFP.

“It’s a historical crisis in the tourism industry but again tourism has the power to recover quite fast,” he added ahead of the start of the WTO’s annual general assembly in Madrid on Tuesday.

“I really hope that 2022 will be much better than 2021.”

‘Confused’ 

While international tourism has taken a hit from the outbreak of disease in the past, the coronavirus is unprecedented in its geographical spread.

In addition to virus-related travel restrictions, the sector is also grappling with the economic strain caused by the pandemic, the spike in oils prices and the disruption of supply chains, the UNWTO said.

Pololikashvili urged nations to harmonise their virus protocols and restrictions because tourists “are confused and they don’t know how to travel”.

International tourist arrivals “rebounded” during the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere thanks to increased travel confidence, rapid vaccination and the easing of entry restrictions in many nations, the UNWTO said.

“Despite the improvement in the third quarter, the pace of recovery remains uneven across world regions due to varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates and traveller confidence,” it added.

Arrivals in some islands in the Caribbean and South Asia, and well as some destinations in southern Europe, came close to, or sometimes exceeded pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.

Other countries however hardly saw any tourists at all, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, where arrivals were down 95 percent compared to 2019 as many destinations remained closed to non-essential travel.

Closed borders 

A total of 46 destinations – 21 percent of all destinations worldwide – currently have their borders completely closed to tourists, according to the UNWTO.

A further 55 have their borders partially closed to foreign visitors, while just four nations have lifted all virus-related restrictions — Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

The future of the travel sector will be in focus at the WTO annual general assembly, which will run until Friday.

The event – which brings together representatives from 159 members states of the UN body – was original scheduled to be held in Marrakesh.

But Morocco in late October decided not to host the event due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in many countries.

Before the pandemic, the tourism sector accounted for about 10 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and jobs.

www.samigration.com

Mother wins right to emigrate with daughter after judge agrees the child will have a better life in New Zealand

migrationSAs

Mother wins right to emigrate with daughter after judge agrees the child will have a better life in New Zealand

30 Nov  2021- The Star

Johannesburg – A JUDGE has considered better quality of life and opportunities in a foreign country in her decision to rule against a father who sought to scupper his minor daughter’s imminent emigration with her mother.

Judge Fiona Dippenaar presided over an urgent application brought to the South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, by a mother identified as AK and father LKG.

After a “tumultuous romantic relationship” that started in 2014, AK and LKG separated in March 2019. Their daughter, identified as A, was now 5.

AK, a primary caregiver to a clinical psychologist by profession, got married to an engineer in September 2020. They also have a 4-month-old baby.

The family of four was in the process of relocating to New Zealand. LKG, a film editor, opposed the move on the grounds that it would severely prejudice his relationship with his daughter.

AK submitted before Judge Dippenaar that she resorted to launching the urgent application because she had found a permanent job as a clinical psychologist in Auckland, New Zealand.

She contended that it was in A’s best interests to move to New Zealand because she had been the child’s primary caregiver since birth.

Other grounds necessitating A’s move were better and free education and health care, general safety, the quality of life and low unemployment rate in New Zealand, the mother submitted.

Judge Dippenaar ruled that AK’s submissions had merit. “In my view, it cannot be concluded that the relocation is not bona fide or reasonable.

“It can also not be concluded that the relocation decision was not taken bona fide,” she said.

“The opposition of the application on this basis lacks merit. The respondent has put up no primary facts which would justify the inferential conclusions he seeks to draw.”

Judge Dippenaar pointed out that in addition to the fact that AK was a primary caregiver, it was a fact that she was relocating for greener pastures with her nuclear family.

“The applicant is a trained clinical psychologist who has secured a good position in the profession and the location of her choice,” she said.

“She is relocating with her nuclear family, a husband, new baby and A to pursue a new life in a secure location with free education and health-care programmes and a much lower unemployment rate than in South Africa.

“To deprive her of that opportunity and the friction that may be caused in her marriage as a result, may well in my view have a severe impact on the welfare of A and her new brother and the happiness and security of their family unit.”

She added that the inevitable prejudice AK and A’s relationship did justify ruling against the mother.

“Although it is in A’s best interests to have a good relationship with both her biological parents, the prejudice to her best interests if the relief sought is not granted in my view by far outweighs the prejudice if the relief is granted,” Judge Dippenaar said.

“It would be less detrimental to A not to deprive the applicant of the opportunity to relocate to New Zealand.

“It is open to the respondent to mitigate such prejudice to A by negotiating or obtaining generous access to A, albeit primarily virtually, at least on a day-to-day basis.”

Judge Dippenaar terminated the parental rights that AK had to give or refuse consent to the child’s relocation.

www.samigration.com

 

 

SA’s Border Management Authority needs R3bn to pay salaries

oneflagmigration

SA’s Border Management Authority needs R3bn to pay salaries

News 24 – 30 November 2021

  • The Border Management Authority needs close to R3 billion to pay staff salaries for a fully operational service.
  • Another R5.2 billion is needed for goods and services, which does not include future technology requirements.
  • On Tuesday, BMA commissioner Nakampe Masiapato briefed Parliament on the authority’s rollout and funding.

South Africa’s Border Management Authority (BMA) needs close to R3 billion to pay staff, while another estimated R5.2 billion would be needed for goods and services.

According to BMA commissioner Nakampe Masiapato, the estimated expenditure on the compensation of employees and goods and services was to establish a fully operational BMA.

On Tuesday, Masiapato and several Home Affairs officials briefed Parliament’s home affairs committee on the BMA rollout plan and funding.

“It should be noted that the above costing is indicative of an estimated cost of the BMA. However, this cost does not include the cost of the future ICT requirements,” Masiapato said.

Following discussions between the BMA leadership, National Treasury and Department of Public Service and Administration, it was agreed that until March 2023, the BMA would remain “incubated” within the Department of Home Affairs.

“Between 1 January 2022 to May 2022, all key positions filled and the oversight committees constituted. In June 2022, BMA will make budget submissions to National Treasury inclusive of transferred budgets from proclaimed departments as discussed. In July 2022, the Department of Public Service and Administration is to announce the listing of BMA as a Schedule 3A Public Entity,” Masiapato said in his presentation.

After budgetary processes in October 2022, and February 2023, the BMA would exit the department to operate as a public entity from 1 April 2023.

It would report to the Minister of Home Affairs.

The BMA would be responsible for:

  • Facilitating and managing the legitimate movement of persons and goods within the border law enforcement area and at ports of entry;
  • Dealing with all kinds of inter-jurisdictional crimes, such as human and wildlife trafficking, movement of counterfeit goods, and the illegal border crossings; and
  • Co-operate and co-ordinate its border law enforcement functions with other agencies like police, the SA National Defence Force and the SA Revenue Service.

“Considering this mandate, juxtaposed against the long-standing national problem of ‘porous borders’,  it is therefore critical to fast track the operationalisation of this BMA, of which this presentation seeks to provide an update to that effect,” Masiapato said.

The BMA logo was developed with the support of the Government Communications Information System (GCIS) and approved in October. Uniform specifications for the BMA were finalised in June 2021, and so far, 15 Toyota Land Cruisers had been bought.

Masiapato said that members of the Immigration Inspectorate would be deployed along with soldiers to conduct joint operations this festive season.

“In addition, plans are at advance stages for the deployment of additional capacity of the SANDF reserves at the borderline. BMA leadership is finalising discussions with the SANDF Command Council for the secondment of the reserve force of the SANDF. This will serve as the preparations towards the introduction of the BMA Border Guards along the borderline,” he said.

Masiapato said they were aiming to sign a memorandum of agreement with the SANDF by no later than November.

“Given the current discussions, we envisaged to launch the BMA Border Guards sometime early next year (2022),” he said

www.samigration.com.

Botswana’s Ian Khama can’t get asylum in SA as refugee offices are closed – govt

admin-ajax (2)

Botswana’s Ian Khama can’t get asylum in SA as refugee offices are closed – govt
News 24 – 29 November 2021
• The home affairs department denied reports in Botswana that its former leader was seeking political asylum in South Africa.
• A home affairs spokesperson said even if Ian Khama wanted to apply for asylum, it wasn’t currently possible as refugee processing offices were closed due to Covid-19.
• The Seretse Khama Ian Khama Foundation issued a statement on 10 November stating that Khama was in South Africa.
The Department of Home Affairs has denied reports doing the rounds in neighbouring Botswana that its former leader Ian Khama has left the country and is seeking political asylum in South Africa.
Responding to media queries from News24, Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Siyabulela Qoza said the “refugee reception offices are currently closed, and this means that no new asylum applications are being processed”.
He went on to say that “the Department of Home Affairs has no record of Mr Ian Khama having applied for asylum in SA”, as was being reported in Botswana.
Sources at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) told News24 the department was watching the matter closely.
A Dirco official said:
This situation threatens to be a repeat of the former Mozambique finance minister (Manuel Chang). That scenario caused friction between the two countries, and this too threatens the same.
Chang has been jailed in South Africa since 2018 and is set to be extradited to the US.
Seeking protection
When approached for comment, the head of public diplomacy at Dirco Clayson Monyela said questions by News24 would be best directed to the home affairs department.
The Seretse Khama Ian Khama Foundation issued a statement on Wednesday, 10 November denying reports that Botswana’s former statesman had fled the country to South Africa.
The foundation issued the statement after media reports that Khama had ditched state security and crossed the border with South Africa, where it was alleged he was seeking protection from Pretoria, claiming Gaborone wanted to arrest him.
“The SKI Khama Foundation office is receiving a flurry of enquiries regarding the absence from the country of former president Lt. Gen. Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who is in South Africa on a private visit.
“We are also observing commentary that seems to be deliberately untrue and causing undue public alarm. The notion that he has fled the country or has gone into exile is simply not true. It is also not true, as alleged by some, that he at any point confirmed fleeing Botswana, never to return. The former president is on a pre-arranged private visit to RSA, visiting friends and family, and having a series of meetings connected to his private visit. When Gen. Khama has completed his engagements in South Africa or anywhere else where these may take place he will return home,” read the foundation’s statement.
Khama was understood to have made his way to South Africa after Botswana’s Intelligence Director-General Peter Magosi demanded that he hand over all his firearms.
Magosi even lodged an urgent application in the Botswana High Court for permission to raid Khama’s residences, which was triggered by an allegation that Khama had threatened Botswana’s security.
The former president had also previously been accused of conspiring to dethrone incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
In the court papers, the Intelligence Agency says Khama may be in violation of the Penal Code, which includes the concealment of treason, obtaining unlicensed firearms and possession of arms of war.
This went back to a case in which three members of Khama’s private security detail were accused of possessing illegal firearms. The matter was later dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
Search and seizure warrant
Khama and his successor, Masisi, had a fallout in the run-up to the 2019 elections.
The High Court dismissed the application for a search and seizure warrant to raid Khama’s home.
There were also reports that the Intelligence Directorate had approached the Lobatse High Court for a warrant of arrest for Khama, with the court dismissing the application on Monday.
University of Botswana lecturer in politics and administrative studies Adam Mfundisi has said the rivalry between Khama and Masisi can be traced back to Masisi’s ascendance to the highest political office on 1 April 2018.
He said:
Upon assuming office, Masisi adopted an aggressive policy of damning everything his boss did or did not do. According to his interpretation of the political environment, anything that the Khama administration pursued was detrimental to the socio-economic and political development of Botswana. Even if he was SKI’s (Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s) most trusted lieutenant, he wanted to trash SKI’s legacy, which was riddled with serious problems.
Mfundisi said public confidence and trust in the Khama administration at the end of his tenure was extremely low. Generally, people accused the Khama-Masisi regime of being undemocratic, authoritarian, unethical and unaccountable, among other things. Mfundisi said Masisi wanted to disassociate himself from the unpleasant perceptions of the former administration.
“To him, Masisi went all out to demonise former president Khama to woo the voters to his newly branded CAVA BDP (Botswana Democratic Party) brigade. The 2019 general election was used as a platform to launch vicious and vitriolic propaganda against Khama and his associates. Anyone who associated with Khama was a demon and needed to be shunned by the voters. An assault on Khama’s presidential benefits was questioned and assertions of Khama’s autocratic leadership tossed,” said Mfundisi.
www.samigration.com

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